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Finding motivation during the winter months

Published: Sunday, February 3, 2013

Updated: Sunday, February 3, 2013 22:02

Students at Boston College are now in a state that really deserves to have a formal designation. It is a state of severe confusion, dangerous cases of blank stares at textbooks, and a tendency to forgo all immediate responsibilities in favor of the “let’s think about my future and freak myself out” frame of mind. This is a phase I like to call the “in-between” phase, and it is affecting poor souls everywhere I look.


As January has disappeared without warning, February is now upon us, and some students just don’t know how to handle it. Gone are the days when classes were just beginning and “real work” did not exist, and now the pressure is on to start becoming a serious student again. In other words, many students are “in-between”—they are not quite ready to occupy O’Neill once again, but still hear the words of Mulan ringing loud and clear: “Let’s get down to business.”

Even the weather has been reflecting our emotions—we had two glorious days of 55 degrees and sunshine, only to return to 30-degree sadness. It was enough to inspire anticipation for the spring—when knee-length puffer jackets can be shed for good, and students will finally be able to enjoy their iced caramel lattes from the Chocolate Bar in the new green space outside of Stokes. However, those dreams will have to wait. I don’t care what Punxsutawney Phil has to say about it—winter is here to stay for quite a bit more time.


For now, students may be looking for ways to increase their productivity without reliving memories of finals week, which seems strangely recent, despite the six weeks that have passed since that sleep-deprived, overly-caffeinated time of our lives. If you’re looking for places on campus to escape the temptation of your twin XL bed, here are a few spots that may serve you well during the in-between time, until you are mentally and emotionally prepared to return to Bapst/O’Neill:

1) Second floor of Corcoran Commons. On a Saturday morning or afternoon, the second floor of the dining hall is empty enough that students will not be distracted by groups of friends Snapchatting their General Gao’s chicken to unsuspecting recipients, but is still filled with the muffled hum of students on the first floor—quiet enough to get some serious work done, but not too much to drive you absolutely insane. Plus, if you live on Lower Campus (sorry freshmen and CoRo inhabitants), you don’t even have to face the cold or the stairs on your way there.


2) The Laundry Room. Yes, it’s a great place to get some reading done while you wait for your washer to finally end its eternal one minute, but it can also be utilized as a study space even when you are not doing your laundry. Once again, you will be isolated enough to focus, but the sound of the machines can be just as wonderful as your Spotify homework playlist. Another bonus: you’ll get to witness the strangely entertaining sight of people hovering by the washers, constantly checking the door to see if someone will miraculously walk in to empty a machine, and their faces in extreme anguish as they decide whether or not to empty out someone else’s clothes and ruin that person’s day.


3) Third floor of Gasson: We’re all a little upset that Gasson Commons is no longer available for quiet reading (and naps), but there are chairs that are almost as comfy on the third floor, perfect for last-minute assignments in between classes. I’d also like to add that there are probably numerous places in Stokes that have been unexplored, and personally I’m a fan of the little room directly above the Chocolate Bar.


4) Brighton Campus: For those who don’t mind taking a walk, but would like a change of scenery, the library of our School of Theology and Ministry is relatively unoccupied and open to undergraduate students. You may feel the need to bring some friends along, but beware: it is very difficult to get anything accomplished when you have a room to yourself and a white board.

Changing up your location every once in a while can be enough motivation in itself to put your lazy self aside and embrace your inner scholar, so don’t be afraid to venture out by yourself and find your own hidden gem.

 

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